Little Rock, Ark. — Today Arkansas Community Organizations released the following statement by board president Donna Massey on today’s ruling on the work requirements for Arkansas Works.
“Today’s ruling by the Court of Appeals is a welcome relief for many low-income Arkansas households. Our organization fought to pass the Affordable Care Act and win Medicaid expansion in Arkansas. We helped many people sign up for health coverage during the first enrollment period. Access to health coverage through Medicaid expansion made a huge difference in many of our member’s lives. From 2013 through 2016 our uninsured rate was cut in half.
“But we have lost ground over the last three years. Since January 2017 tens of thousands of Arkansans have lost health coverage because of excessive red tape, poor communication by DHS and the work requirement. We have encountered many people who only learned about their loss of coverage when they went to buy medicine or went to the doctor. The work requirement was designed to take health care away people in violation of the Medicaid program’s stated purpose.
“We call on the governor and state legislature to support Medicaid expansion in Arkansas. Improve the program. Make it easier for people to apply. Make it easier to keep coverage. Reinstate outreach and enrollment programs Health care is a human right.”